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The Research Hero’s Journey: TMRE Conference Recap

Posted by Julie Kurd

Mon, Nov 09, 2015

I’m back from IIR’s TMRE conference—three intense days spent with hundreds of consumer insights professionals who are charged with supporting the C-Suite in these perilous and changing times. Reflecting on the challenges facing these brave souls, I’m reminded of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the narrative pattern found in millions of stories from Greek myth to Disney films. If it’s been awhile since your last literature class, refresh yourself on the Journey here or with this simple example from Cinderella.

the hero's journey, TMRE conference recap, CMB

Now, come with me as we follow our insights heroes and heroines on the path to re-invent and re-discover the magic that drives businesses forward. 

  • Ordinary World and the Call to Adventure: The world has changed, and the Hero faces a challenge. GfK’s CEO, David Krajicek likens insights folks to calligraphers and 11th century monks who copied manuscripts and whose wondrous artistry was killed by the scalability and speed of movable type. David says that insights folks must find a way to provide CMOs with immediate answers and handcrafted artistry (which requires our patience and focus), but the latter is becoming less frequent. A lot of the time, fast and directional is all decision-makers are willing to pay for.
  • Refusal of the Call: Our Hero balks at the seemingly impossible task. The C-Suite still needs artistry and reflection, but the craft of insights requires varied tools, exceptional rigor, mastery, and time. The swift and violent current of commerce requires insights folks to offer speed. There is a place in a portfolio of insights for short-term efforts as well as more contemplative efforts. Many research suppliers offer fast/inexpensive/directionally accurate solutions, and many others offer more pensive/structured thinking. Each side refuses the call.
  • Meeting the Mentor: Our Hero finds inspiration in disruption. Seth Godin reminds us that the boss keeps begging for more—more ratings, more shelf space—yielding average products for average people. You can’t grow by solving for the average. Brands that are growing are brands that look forward (think: AirBnB). The Hero and the Hero’s Journey must progress to avoid becoming a commodity.  
  • Crossing the Threshold: Our Hero takes the first step into the new world. While everyone in the insights world is talking about data, only 6% report that they’ve crossed the threshold into actually fusing passive (unstructured) data with survey research (structured) data. One company already on its way is LinkedIn. As LinkedIn’s Sally Sadosky and Al Nevarez shared, the site has insourced most of its survey research, and LinkedIn is marrying the survey data to its data sources. The company is using big data to align its offerings with the most impactful opportunities. LinkedIn classifies/segments, ranks drivers, categorizes text, and generates lift for key metrics.    
  • Tests, Allies, and Enemies: Our Hero discovers friends and foes. On to the sessions at TMRE. . .the tests, the allies, and the enemies of the Hero as he/she journeys. Several speakers talked in generalities rather than tell their unique story—they played the middle. Our heroes found the allies and the tests in the other rooms and were rewarded with meaningful insights, including:
    • Remain optimistic, but embrace negative metrics: Poker player Caspar Berry reminded us to embrace uncertainty and to rise to meet the challenge despite the fear of failure. Risk-taking leaders are consistent and successful. They also get conned a lot, but they remain optimistic.
    • Know the game: Heineken’s Joanne McDonough conducted an entertaining and memorable presentation on the brand’s positioning—“behaving premium.” Heineken conducted mobile ethnos and interviews at exclusive night clubs in Miami, Los Angeles, and NYC. The company uncovered insights about the “Champagne Girl,” Table Service, and a lot more about dudes and their nights out.
    • Know the giants by name: Competing in the expectation economy has its impact challenges says @trendwatching’s Maxwell Luthy. It’s critical to understand the Internet of Things (IoT), the sharing economy, the “near me” or localization push, 2-way transparency (I rate the brand and the brand rates me), citizenship (of the world), and more.
    • Show your effort: Dan Ariely stressed that we need to understand that people’s cognition is relative to the time they’re willing to put into it. How can we eliminate friction? Storytelling to make insights actionable. Simple testing of the details. If there’s a way you can eliminate barriers—do it.
  • Approach: Our Hero is joined by allies to prepare for the new world. John Dryden and Kimberley Clark’s Laura Dropp talked about the next generation—Gen Z—who are always connected and never alone. These youngsters (ages 10 to 20) need you to be an easily accessible resource. Gen Zers naturally blend the physical and the virtual, making real connections fluidly, and they want our help to make a difference in the world.
  • Central Ordeal: Our Hero confronts his/her worst fears. The C-suite turnover is great, and the lowly research Hero is cast aside, playing a role perceived by many as not worthy of its own budget. It is here that researchers must make decisions about the level of risk they’re willing to take—breaking away from the tried but tired models of the past.
  • The Reward: Our Hero’s risks are rewarded. Compromises are made, and organizations are restructured to handle fast and directional insight. The budget for the thoughtful, foundational, deeper-diving insights is rewarded as the lightbulb goes on in the C-Suite.
  • The Road Back: Our Hero makes his/her way back, transformed. The marketing we grew up with is going away, and it’s time to get schooled by the world around us—embracing the new connections we must make with one another.
  • Resurrection: Our Hero must prove himself/herself once again. To drive brand zeal and customer loyalty, it’s not enough to provide a tasty meal or a clean hotel room. Consumers want a meal to be instagrammable and the hotel experience to be differentiated. At TMRE, we took clients out to Café Tu Tu Tango. We expected a good meal, but we received much more—excellent tapas and sangria, a great band, two artists painting at desks mingled with the diners (their art for sale on the walls), and a tarot card reader. It was a memorable and differentiating experience and a good example of why we can’t be content with business as usual.
  • Return with the Elixir: The Hero continues on with the power to transform as he/she has been transformed. To grow profitably, all of us need to be memorable, show our artistry or our speed, connect to the IoT, and be authentic. Research that lacks either showmanship or artistry will not suffice. We need the storytelling techniques to make insights memorable, entertaining, and, ultimately, actionable.

Where are you on your Hero’s Journey?

Julie blogs for GreenBook, ResearchAccess, and CMB. She’s an inspired participant, amplifier, socializer, and spotter in the twitter #mrx community, so talk research with her @julie1research.

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Topics: business decisions, internet of things, marketing strategy, B2B research, conference recap

It's Not the Technology. . .It's Us

Posted by Mark Doherty

Wed, Oct 28, 2015

technology, human problem, cmb, data integrationWe’ve come a long way, baby. . .

In the past three decades, the exponential growth in technology’s capabilities have given us the power to integrate multiple sources, predict behaviors, and deliver insights at a speed we only dreamt of when I was starting out. CMB Chairman and co-founder, Dr. John Martin, was an early cheerleader of the value of using multiple methods and multiple sources, so the promise of bringing disparate data sources into a unified view of customers and the marketplace is this researcher’s dream come true. 

While integrating data to help make smarter decisions has always been a best practice, it is the advances in technology that have allowed for an even greater and easier integration. Below are some recent examples we’ve implemented at CMB:

  • In segmentation studies, we include needs/attitude-based survey data, internal CRM behaviors, and third-party appended data into the modeling to create more useful segments. Our clients have found that our perceptual data is a necessary complement to their internal data because it helps explain the “why’s” to the “what’s” that the internal behavioral/demographic data tell them.
  • For our brand tracking clients, we often combine web analytics (e.g., Google search data, social media sentiment analysis, client’s web traffic statistics) and internal data (e.g., inquiries, loyalty applications) with our tracking results to help tell a much more nuanced story of the brand’s progress. Additionally, we use dashboards to tie that data together in one place, providing a real-time view of the brand.
  • Our customer experience clients now provide us with internal data from call center reports (detailing the types of complaints received) and internal performance metrics to complement our satisfaction tracking. 

. . .but we’ve got a ways to go.

While many organizations are leveraging technology to integrate data for specific decision areas, I see a number of stumbling blocks. Many companies are still failing to develop an enterprise-wide, unified view of the marketplace—and the barriers often have little to do with the data or tech themselves: 

  • Organizational siloes make it very challenging for different functional areas to come together and create a common platform for this type of unified view. 
  • Moreover, the politics of who owns what—and more importantly, who pays for what—oftentimes means efforts like this never get off the ground.  

So, while it seems like technology is helping make all sorts of different data “play together,” we as humans haven’t mastered the same challenge! 

How do organizations overcome these challenges to take advantage of this possibility? Like most challenges, the solution starts with senior leadership. If the C-suite makes it a priority for the organization to become customer-centric and stresses that data is a big part of getting there, that goes far to pave the way for the different personalities and siloes to come together. Starting small is another way to tackle this problem. Look for opportunities in which teams can collaborate, even if it’s something as simple as looking at subsequent purchase behaviors from customers six months after they complete a satisfaction questionnaire in order to develop/refine the predictive power of your customer experience tracking. Starting small can create a more positive beginning to the partnership, building the trust and communication necessary to attack the bigger challenges down the road.

Mark is a Vice President at CMB, and while he recognizes that technology has absolutely transformed all aspects of his professional and personal life, he sees meaning in the fact that he prefers his music playlists generated by humans, not algorithms. Long live the DJ!

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Topics: consumer insights, B2B research, data integration

5 Questions with GSP's Kelli Robertson on Positioning Cisco's "Internet of Everything"

Posted by Tara Lasker

Wed, Dec 03, 2014

800px Cisco logo.svgGS&P.logo.with.name.1Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ Kelli Robertson talked with CMB’s Research Director, Tara Lasker, about a recent messaging study they partnered on for Cisco. This study aimed to determine the best way to communicate Cisco’s role in the “Internet of Everything.” 

TARA: There’s been a lot of buzz lately about using data to support strategic thinking. Can you talk a little bit about how you strike that balance between the two in your role?

kelli robertson, GSP, Cisco, CMB

KELLI: Well, I don’t think data just supports thinking—I think it also generates it. There’s nothing more exciting than a table full of data and going through that data to find ideas and the story. I think that’s one of the things we did with this study. I think you always have to start with hypotheses and use the data gathered to prove or disprove them, which is what we did. You also have to be open to the data giving you new ideas. For us, data isn’t just about validating—it’s about learning.

It’s also important to realize that data helps bring consensus. Marketing is hard today because everything is so uncertain, and I think it’s easy for clients to dismiss things you learn from eight or even thirty qualitative interviews. It’s a lot harder to dismiss data. So if you can combine the data with the new ideas, you’re more likely to create consensus and generate buy-in from the people you’re working with.

TARA:  That’s definitely true, and we see that throughout many of our client engagements. Moving on to our study, can you talk about how GSP and CMB partnered to help solve some of the challenges that Cisco faced?

KELLI: The first thing that CMB did really well was to quickly grasp the topic. This includes how technology influences business, the somewhat complicated concept of the “Internet of Everything,” and all of the product and technology solutions that create the “Internet of Everything.” There wasn’t a lot of explaining that I had to do because CMB just jumped in. I think that’s a testament to all of your experience with clients in the technology industry. You also recognized that the “Internet of Everything” might be a complicated concept for respondents to grasp, so you helped us craft a few different ways to talk about it in the survey, which allowed us to better measure true awareness and understanding.

Here’s another example. This was a global study, and CMB had a lot of recommendations including using max diff scaling to prioritize messages and alleviate any global scale bias. These recommendations allowed us to overcome a challenge that I wouldn’t have even known about if it hadn’t been for you. You also recommended that we test a few diagnostics within the top scoring messages. That helped us gain a better understanding of why messages were compelling instead of just showing us which ones were at the top of the list. Those diagnostics helped us feel confident in the messages that stood out.

TARA: We did a lot of secondary research on our end and asked colleagues at CMB with the most tech experience about the “Internet of Everything.” We tried to think from a respondent’s perspective when answering the questions to make sure that we were getting the most useful data we could possibly get and to ensure the respondents were reacting the way we wanted without misunderstanding.

KELLI: I think that background research you’re referring to was what allowed you to help us so much. I live in the “Internet of Everything” world. I have for the past two years. You allowed us to go deep into the “Internet of Everything,” but kept in mind the fact that people won’t view it with the same amount of understanding that we do. That helped us ask questions in a more broad sense and allowed us to have good juxtapositions regarding innovation, business, and technology.

TARA: Exactly. We also looked at the different roles within an organization and how they saw it. For example, the C-suite and technical decision makers understood and liked the more detailed messaging while business managers liked the broader, softer messaging. Speaking of, can you talk about what impact this research has had on Cisco’s brand messaging strategy? What’s happened since we’ve presented the results?

KELLI: Well, as you know, Cisco keeps coming back to get more data, and the study is really being adopted. It helped us form the messaging strategy for Cisco moving forward. For example, it helped us craft the right language to explain how Cisco is making the “Internet of Everything” possible. There’s been this question in the marketplace: what does Cisco do to make the “Internet of Everything” happen? The study helped us answer that question and address the skepticism our audience has had in the most compelling way.

The study also helped us define a sweet spot within our target audience. Prior to this, we talked broadly about C-suite executives, business decision-makers, and technical decision-makers. We summarize our audience as C-suite executives, but the study uncovered a very clear mindset that matched Cisco’s aspirations. Now we’re able to use that data to talk about our audience psychographically. We’ve found an attitudinal sweet spot because of the confidence in the data. Without the study, we could guess that C-suite executives and business decision-makers felt a certain way, but the data is invaluable in changing the way we think about who we reach out to, how we influence them, and the attitude Cisco needs to have. That’s been really invaluable, and it influences a lot of our decisions in tone and placement media.

The study also helped validate some of the Cisco product solutions that we should prioritize in our messaging. In the past, Cisco was primarily a networking company. Now, Cisco is offering a suite of product solutions way beyond networking. This study helped us uncover which of those product solutions triggered the most thoughts of innovation in our audience’s mind, which helped us prioritize where we should focus our product efforts.

TARA: Let’s talk a little more about the buy-in. This is the second time we’ve worked together on a project like this, and we’ve always had a great partnership. You understand your client and the questions they need answered, and we work through the research design and analysis. Ultimately, the goal is to get buy-in and adoption. So, can you talk about the adoption throughout Cisco?

KELLI: We’ve presented this countless times at Cisco, and we’re still getting requests to present it. We also just presented all of the work to the global regions in Cisco to help inform their work. They use a lot of the work we do, but they also do a lot of work on their own, so I’m sharing it with them so that they can use it to help inform what they do. Certain people within the organization are even using the data in their day-to-day work, which is amazing.

One of the things I’ve been most excited about is that we’re working with the thought leadership team at Cisco, who help set the agenda and public relations initiatives around key themes and topics. They’ve spent a lot of time pouring through the results, and they ended up coming back with a huge list of questions that are going to drive their thinking for the next year. So it’s helping set thought leadership, which is great.

One of the biggest things we tested is Cisco’s mission statement—“Changing the way we work, live, play, learn.” That is a statement that has always been on paper, and it has always been referred to as Cisco’s mission statement. The data we got back showed how compelling this statement was to our audience. It came back as one of the top messages if not the top message. I think that’s been giving Cisco a lot of confidence that they need to do more with their mission statement and that it needs to become not just words on paper, but something that drives all action within Cisco. I think this study is going to breathe new life into this big, bold mission statement and give them the courage to use it more overtly to make bolder decisions. There’s a difference between having a mission statement and being on a mission, and I feel like this data gave them the confidence to be a company on a mission—on a mission to change the way we work, live, play, learn.

TARA: Over the years, you’ve been one of my favorite clients for several reasons—one of them being that you really approach the relationship like a true partnership. We really work together. We get to a place where you know the client, challenges, political environment, and research questions that need to be answered. CMB brings research expertise, which allows us to design the study in a way that is going to answer your questions, so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities. I feel like both times we’ve partnered, we’ve ended up in a good, clear place at the end because of the way we work together throughout the process.

KELLI: I agree, and I will say that who we chose wasn’t necessarily my decision. I worked with the head of our research group. When we were going through RFPs, it became clear that few research companies are so thorough. There’s just this reality that not a lot of other research companies are as strategic, bring the breadth of experience, dive in, and ask questions of other experts in the organization the way you do….and these were things we noticed from the first RFP. There’s just something special you have bottled over there.

TARA: Thanks, Kelli! Hopefully we’ll get the chance to work together again in the future.

Tara Lasker is a Research Director at CMB and Kelli is a Group Brand Strategy Director at GSP. They both enjoy good beer, good music, commiserating over the trials and tribulations of motherhood, and telling a great story with primary research data.  

Topics: technology research, strategy consulting, big data, B2B marketing, internet of things, B2B research, Researchers in Residence, brand health and positioning

IT Myth-Busters: A Review of the Current Hype Cycle

Posted by Chris Neal

Wed, Jun 19, 2013

TrueFalseOne of the things I love most about my job is that I get to see what’s really going on in the minds of the people who do (or would) actually pay for B2B technology solutions, while at the same time observing industry trade press hype cycles and B2B marketing trends from solution providers. Sometimes these sync; sometimes they don’t. So let’s take a look at a few things currently waxing in the hype cycle that are “real,” and some other current conventional wisdom that doesn’t jive with what I’ve been seeing on the ground.  TREND #1: EVOLUTION OF IT BUYING AUTHORITY AWAY FROM CENTRAL IT DEPARTMENTS

Fact: It is indeed true that decision-making authority at many companies is moving away from central IT and towards non-IT executives or within business units. This is more commonly happening with functionally-specific applications and/or mobile devices. It is not happening in areas like data center infrastructure, networking and IT security. 

Myth: IT departments are actively trying to control all aspects of the IT buying process at companies.

  • The truth is, IT Pros I survey or interview are focused on aligning IT with business needs, actively listening and reacting to requests from senior management, LoB managers and end-user employees. They follow up with these requests to do more detailed research of specific solutions and alternatives to present different options with informed recommendations, and the vet any potential new application or device for security and network performance requirements.

 Myth: IT departments think they have total control over all IT buying when in fact much of it happens without their knowledge. 

  • IT Pros I survey still think they have more involvement/authority than non-IT executives, LoB managers and end-users say they do, but that “reality perception” gap has been shrinking over the years. Now, many IT Departments acknowledge that identifying the need for new technology solutions and even a lot of the researching and recommendation of specific tools and brands comes from non-IT departments.

TREND #2: THE CONSUMERIZATION OF IT

Fact: The consumerization of IT is accelerating and more employees want to use personal devices, apps and software for work purposes. 

Myth:  IT departments are always fighting the consumerization of IT trend.

  • Most IT Departments I investigate now acknowledge (and many actively support) consumerization of IT trends, most commonly helping employees link personal mobile devices to things like corporate email and calendaring accounts. IT is focused on making employees more productive, and this is an easy way to enable this.

TREND #3: TABLETS BECOMING MORE COMMONPLACE AT WORK  

Fact: Tablet penetration is increasing at companies, although it is still relatively rare for most employees to have a company-issued tablet at this point. It is more common for employees to bring in personal tablets and use them for work purposes (see “Trend #2” above 

Myth: Tablets are replacing computers at companies.

  • “Hard cannibalization” of company laptops by tablets simply isn’t happening much. It is extremely rare for employees at this point to get rid of their good ‘ol fashioned laptop altogether and go all-tablet, all-the-time. Any employee who needs to produce stuff (e.g., worker-bees) as opposed to consuming things (e.g., senior management reviewing the things that worker-bees produce) still needs and used laptops with larger screens and a quaint QWERTY keyboard.

 Fact: Tablets are extending the refresh cycles of laptops at companies.

  • “Soft cannibalization” of company laptops by tablets does indeed happen quite frequently once tablets are in the mix. Employees who use tablets for work tend to use their laptop less for certain tasks, and with less wear-and-tear IT departments are pushing out the refresh cycles of their laptop fleet.

 Myth: Tablets will negate the need for printing at the office.

  • Certain tasks and certain documents need to be printed at work. Whenever tablets are used to do these tasks…employees still want to print for them, and IT departments are generally happy to deploy mobile printing solutions if that’s what a critical mass of employees (or even a single, vocal senior executive) want. More computing devices in play generally leads to more printing, not less.  

TREND #4: CLOUD COMPUTING

Fact: Cloud computing is growing by leaps and bounds in corporate America. This trend is indeed real now, after several years where the industry marketing hype did not sync with the volume of deals actually being signed or the proclivity of IT departments to switch to cloud-based app delivery models.

Myth: IT departments are threatened by cloud computing and resisting this trend.

  • Initially, IT departments were very skeptical about the security of cloud apps, and distrustful of complex, pay-as-you-go pricing models that could be potential budget-busters. These days, IT departments are more often than not the champions of the shift to the cloud, and executive management sometime puts the kibosh on initiatives because they can involve extra near-term budget (and staffing resources) to make the initial switch.

Myth: Companies are going “all-cloud” and converting their old internal data centers into gyms or rec rooms. 

  • It is very rare for companies to have all their apps and storage on the cloud…I’m typically seeing a patchwork of internally-hosted apps, use of some public cloud services, other apps going onto private cloud infrastructures, and hybrid models. Certain apps are difficult to move to cloud provisioning for a variety of reasons (e.g., performance requirements, compliance with regulations, certain app vendors not yet supporting cloud delivery options or the ones they are offering aren’t fully baked yet, app customization needs). What IT departments really need now and for the foreseeable future is better management and security solutions that help them deal with this mixed environment, because it is likely here to stay for quite some time.

IT is changing dramatically and will no doubt look very different 2-5 years from now. The way these trends actually pan out always produce a few surprises, however. So stay tuned to this channel for future episodes of “IT Myth-busters.”

Chris leads CMB’s Tech Practice. He enjoys spending time with his two kids and rock climbing.

Topics: technology research, B2B marketing, B2B research

Finding the B2B Social Media Opportunities

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn

Thu, May 27, 2010

Today's eMarketer email features an article about the relatively slow adoption of social media by B2B marketers.  While some companies have jumped in quickly - and often without a plan - those that are slow to engage may lack executive support or have concerns about privacy, legal issues, or staffing.

And even for those who are ready to engage, while the venue selection is obvious for many consumer focused companies, B2B marketers often need to look beyond the mainstream social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn to find the best opportunities to make an impact.

 

social media strategies

Our clients at AMD faced a similar situation.   They knew they wanted to be active, but weren't sure how to prioritize.   So after jumping into social media they took a step back to examine who their key audiences were and where they were active, which venues they needed to engage in, and what people were willing to accept from their brand. 

 

social media strategy case studyWant to learn more about social media research?  Watch our webinar featuring Georgeanna Liu and Chris James from AMD as they present a case study of how CMB conducted market research to support key social media strategy decisions and how AMD is using it today.  Watch here.

 

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn. Josh is our VP of Marketing and loves live music, tv, great food, market research, New Orleans, marketing, Boston and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @mendelj2. 

Topics: B2B marketing, social media, B2B research

Using Primary Market Research to Evaluate B2B Social Media Strategies

Posted by Chris Neal

Thu, Apr 22, 2010

We recently conducted research on social media to look at why people become fans and followers of certain brands. We wanted to get a high level view of why people become a fan/follower. Our gut (and some of our own personal experience) told us that many people that become a fan or follower do so because they are already customers of that brand. For the most part our instinct was right. Our research found 49% of people who become Facebook fans do so because they are already a customer. 

The really interesting part is we found over half of those people who are engaged stated that they are more likely to buy and recommend that brand since becoming a fan/follower.   It's clear that using social media as an engagement strategy helps cut through the online clutter and keeps brands "top of mind".

This makes a lot of sense for consumer companies, but is a social media engagement strategy right for harder to reach B2B audiences? The short answer is yes, but not without digging deeper to learn more about who you are trying to reach and where they "live" online.  There are so many social media outlets available today and they are not all created equal and they're not a "one size fits all" answer.

Truly using social media as an engagement strategy may not take a lot of money, but it does take a lot of time. So the best place to start is prioritizing who you want to engage with and then look for the best places to find them and figure out how they want to be engaged in the various social media outlets available.

Recently we worked with AMD, a leading processor company to re-evaluate their social media effectiveness and develop a more optimized and targeted strategy to reach their widely disparate target audiences. It was important to start by looking at each of those targets and then systematically evaluate the true extent and impact of social media usage on each of those audiences.

  • Audience: We used separate research modules for each unique target audience, spanning from extreme B2B to consumer segments
  • Recruiting: We did not use social media to recruit research participants as to prevent sampling bias
  • Techniques: Both qualitative/open-ended and quantitative research

This approach really allowed AMD to refine and optimize their social media content and tactics based on the different behaviors of each target audience. Learn more about this AMD case study at the Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies event coming to Boston May 3-5.

Understanding B2B Social Media:  An AMD Case Study

CMB's Chris Neal and AMD's Georgeanna Liu will presenting a case study of how CMB helped AMD better understand and capitalize on social media to drive their business. In this session, we'll explain the steps that AMD took to review and refine their social media strategy focusing on very specific target audiences. 



Read more about social media
by downloading our report:
 
"Why Social Media Matters for Your Business."

 

 

 

 

Topics: technology research, B2B marketing, social media, Consumer Pulse, B2B research, customer experience and loyalty

International Market Research Starts with Choosing the Right Partner

Posted by Jared Huizenga

Tue, Apr 13, 2010

There's a lot to consider when collecting international data. It's a whole different ball game outside the U.S. market. From methodologies to translations to project management, a lot needs to be taken into consideration-even in other English speaking countries.  The first step to any successful international research project is choosing the right partner.There are so many choices and they are not all created equal. A single data collection partner will never be the right fit for every project. At CMB we have created our own Global Certified Network to ensure we have the most well rounded pool of partners we can team up with on every project.  Having our own certification process has allowed us to hold our data collection providers and partners to the same high level of expectations our clients have come to rely on us for.

To qualify for CMB's Global Certified Network our partners must agree to several strict requirements including industry standards, security requirements, data quality assurance, and project management guidelines. Some examples are...

  • Industry Standards:  All certified partners are required to comply with the ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research. In addition, all vendors must comply with national, regional, and local laws. They also must sign Chadwick Martin Bailey's Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Security Requirements:  All partners are required take active measures with regards to respondent privacy. This is especially true when using client-provided sample lists. The partner must be CAN-SPAM compliant and destroy all sample records at the end of a project-or at any time per Chadwick Martin Bailey's request. 
  • Data Quality Assurance:  Partners must demonstrate that procedures are in place to guard against "bad" data and if any issues with data collection arise, partners are required to inform us immediately and offer proactive solutions. Partners must inform us upfront when they are using additional partners for data collection and they must give us the names of those additional partners if issues come up.   
  • Project Management Guidelines: Partners are required to provide a minimum of two points of contact and to respond to queries and requests from the CMB project staff as quickly as possible. Partners must also agree to participate in frequent meetings to give us status updates.

These are just a few ways we ensure our partners share the same commitment and high standards we do when approaching each project. This certification has also allowed us to build an outstanding network of partners with some of the best and brightest companies in our industry.

Posted by Jared Huizenga is CMB's Field Services Manager. Jared is on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Topics: international research, B2B research

Market Research Shows IT Service Providers Lack Brand Distinction

Posted by Don Ryan

Wed, Mar 10, 2010

In a recent Technology Pulse we asked 145 IT decision makers from US-based companies and organizations of all sizes about their use of and priorities for IT- related services for their organization.  One of the more interesting findings in this study is the lack of brand distinction for IT service providers. When we asked IT professionals about the uniqueness of several brands (based on a variety of brand attributes), the option "None" among these brands was actually ranked highest by IT professionals with 37% of respondents.

When the "brand" that had the highest distinctiveness was "None," that means that there are some brand attributes that IT decision-makers don't think any providers do well, and others where they think many providers do this well. Overall, we see that most IT services providers have not achieved distinct brand positioning among IT decision makers. Even large brands with very strong awareness, favorability, and purchase consideration momentum (such as IBM or HP) often do not stand out for any one particular attribute.

HP, for one, is taking steps to broaden their brand awareness.  In a recent Wall Street Journal article "H-P Revealing Its New Personality In Corporate Campaign" the author writes about the launch of Hewlett-Packard's first corporate ad campaign in more than five years. Clear positioning regarding services should be a focal point of these efforts.

It's vital for IT services companies to gain a better understanding of the opportunities to create distinction around their brand and understand what brand attributes are most important to their customers. Otherwise their biggest competitor "None" will beat them all.

Learn more by downloading the full CMB Tech Pulse report: IT Services

Posted by Don Ryan. Don is the managing director of CMB's technology practice. Don is an avid tennis player and enjoys reading political commentary and spy novels. 

Topics: technology research, Consumer Pulse, B2B research, brand health and positioning

Using Segmentation: High Quality Market Research Is Only The Beginning

Posted by Jeff McKenna

Thu, Jan 21, 2010

As a high end market research firm we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the design and analysis of segmentation research projects.  We have tried and true techniques and processes for building the most useful scheme for a given company and know exactly how to put them into practice.  But from a client perspective, that is only the beginning.  Without buy-in from executives up front and evangelization following the research, even the best segmentation solutions wind up unused.

In our recent webinar, Andy Vranesic of GE Healthcare stated that only 10% of effort in getting segmentation used exists in getting to results, with the remaining 90% managing change across the business induced by the results. He continued on to say that segmentation output should cause the C-suite and senior managers to think differently about the business- and that should be reflected in their tactical actions.

Three tips to making segmentation useful:

1) Conduct up front workshops with key stakeholders to set expectations and make sure their goals are included in the design

2) Don't let the numbers unilaterally dictate the scheme you choose, a scheme is only useful if it fits the organizations ability to act

3)  Be deliberate about post-project evangelization.  Set up an internal strategy for each relevant group so that they understand the key takeaways and take appropriate action.

 

Watch our recent B2B Segmentation webinar with GE Healthcare

 

 

Jeff is a Senior Consultant and has of the most diverse professional lives in the business. He applies his experience in new home construction, cosmetics, insurance, corporate governance, and retail with his analytical skills to create  dynamite client solutions.

Topics: B2B research, webinar, market strategy and segmentation

Technology Pulse: Market Research on Windows 7 Adoption

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn

Thu, Jan 21, 2010

We recently completed our CMB Technology Pulse series (free technology market research) on the future of operating systems in the Enterprise.  At the end of the series, we conducted  a webinar of the findings "How Windows 7 is Changing Enterprise IT OS Plans and Preferences"

CMB Tech Pulse: Windows 7 and Operating Systems

Despite prior problems with Windows Vista, 51% of US enterprises are likely to standardize on Microsoft's new Windows 7 OS for their desktops and laptops within the next two years.

Download this issue of the Tech Pulse.

This Pulse In the News: 

IBM Tries to Woo Business Customers from Windows 7

USA Today- The move comes as Chadwick Martin Bailey, a Boston market research  and consulting firm, released results of a survey of 145 IT professionals indicating 51% of large organizations plan to standardize on Windows 7 for laptops and desktops, while 38% plan to do so with netbooks over the next two years. Read the article at USA Today...

Windows 7 Could See High Business Adoption, Surveys Suggest

Microsoft-Watch:  A new study by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) should warm the hearts of all those executives currently biting their fingernails in Redmond: their survey of 145 IT professionals indicated that the majority intended to standardize Windows 7 across multiple products in their enterprise.

Topics: technology research, Consumer Pulse, B2B research